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Cotton Recognizes Arkansan of the Week: Tom Galyon

June 10, 2016

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353 or Dylan Haney (501) 223-9081

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) this week recognized Tom Galyon as "Arkansan of the Week" for his advocacy work with the Arkansas Chapter of the National ALS Association.

You can find the full text of Senator Cotton's recognition on the Senate Floor below. A video of Senator Cotton's remarks can be viewed here and downloaded here.

Today, I would like to recognize Thomas Galyon, of Rogers, Arkansas as this week's "Arkansan of the Week," for his advocacy work with the Arkansas Chapter of the National ALS Association.

Tom was diagnosed with ALS in 2014 and has been a tireless advocate ever since. Tom isn't one to let ALS hold him back, in fact, after spending 33 successful years in the tourism industry Tom decided retirement wasn't for him and went back to work as the property manager for the Center for Nonprofits at St. Mary's in Northwest Arkansas. As luck would have it, the ALS Association is headquartered in the very building Tom manages-making his commitment to the organization that much stronger.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Tom when he came to Washington to advocate on behalf of the ALS Association. We had long discussion where I learned about Tom's story and the struggle of nearly 20,000 other Americans who are currently living with ALS. During our meeting, Tom asked me to address the problem that persons with ALS face when seeking disability insurance. I was proud to work with my colleague Senator Whitehouse to become the lead Republican sponsor of the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act, a bill that would waive the five month waiting period to receive disability insurance benefits for those living with ALS. While the waiting period may be prudent in many cases, for ALS it consumes a lot of the remaining life expectancy once you get a diagnosis of ALS. We now have nine sponsors, and I am hopeful as we gain more support this bill will move forward and eventually become law.

In a testimony about his journey with ALS, Tom writes, "until there is a treatment or cure for ALS I will continue to be an avid advocate for change in government policies and procedures that affect all ALS patients in a negative way." I want to encourage all Arkansans to take a lesson from Tom's words. Advocacy works. If there's a bill or regulatory matter that impacts your life-I want to hear about it. Become an advocate, contact my office and tell me your story. It's part of my job to represent you in the United States Senate.

Tom's journey is a remarkable one. He's not let the unexpected discourage him. In fact, he's used his diagnoses to teach others about ALS and bring us closer to a cure. As Tom himself always says, "Blue skies always"-I think that's a mantra everyone in the Senate and Arkansas could adopt too. It is my honor to recognize Thomas Galyon as this week's Arkansan of the Week.


The "Arkansan of the Week" initiative is designed to honor Arkansans who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to their communities, and to the state.

Senator Cotton will honor each "Arkansan of the Week" with a speech on the Senate Floor.

If you know someone who has made an impact on their local community or Arkansas as a whole, Senator Cotton would like to recognize them! To nominate someone for "Arkansan of the Week," send an email to with the following:
• Name of Nominee
• Detailed description of why they should be recognized as "Arkansan of the Week"
• Contact Info
• Photos if Available